October 23, 2010

A City's Farmer's Market

Wow!!  The farmer's market in San Francisco is simply Wow.  Where to start?!?!

We took the ferry over from Sausalito, and landed at the Ferry Building which is the old port of San Francisco.  Immediately, we were sucked into the crowd, happily swept away into the experience.  There are easily 100 stalls of produce, baked goods, spices, jams, oils, flowers and cooked food.  Walking up and down the aisles was a sensory kaleidoscope of colors, shapes, smells, textures and tastes.

There are samples of almost everything, and we walked around Costco style.  The most interesting thing  I tasted was a Bodega Goat Cheese sweet spread called Natilla.  It is made from goat's milk, brown sugar, molasses, butter and vanilla and it resembled a caramel or dulce de leche sauce.  The stall attracted a collection of Francophones, perhaps because the cheese maker was speaking French, and so we commented and critiqued en francais.  Even the Parisiens had never seen or tasted anything like it.

While I didn't buy much (carrying produce around San Francisco all day wasn't in my plans), I thoroughly enjoyed sampling the goods, talking to the vendors and taking pictures.  Thank you to my fellow photographer (with the much nicer, fancier, larger camera) for the advice- "Try to find interesting angles, don't just take pictures of the food", and the subsequent surprised compliments- "Oh, you have some nice shots and a really good eye.  Keep it up" when I showed you my pictures.  The lesson learned?  Don't judge a photographer by her camera.

Here is a taste of the market. The pictures don't need much explanation and are intended to capture the visual experience.  I hope you enjoy the sights as much as I did!

The views from the ferry ride across the bay.

Sampling a variety of pears... The Asian pears are my favorite.  

 Who knew that brussel sprouts grew on stalks?  I didn't. 

Salad bar?

Kettle corn- a must have at every farmer's market

In my opinion, wheatgrass juice tastes like a freshly mowed lawn smells.  Pleasant, but not desired on one's taste buds.  

The flowers added some bright hues to the already beautiful color palette at the market.  

The lavender smell added a Provencal vibe

Kids were enjoying the tasting as much as adults.

A visually stunning take on the classic bagel, lox and cream cheese (but on a baguette) 

After all that food, who wouldn't be hungry?  What a perfect place to sit and enjoy a snack.  

As if that wasn't enough, we went inside the Ferry Building and perused the permanent collection of  specialty shops and restaurants.  

There are mushroom shops.....

And tea shops...

And cheese shops...

And chocolate shops...

And candy shops...

And of course, the all-day-long-awaited Blue Bottle Coffee shop.  

For a foodie like me, it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.   Time to go home...

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